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That’s the Game! Bref interview avec Lawrence Durrell

LD5Detours :  L'Inde, la Grèce, l'Égypte, les îles de la mer Égée, la Provence... votre oeuvre et votre biographie spirituelle sem­blent inséparables de la réalité géographique et sociale de l'exil.

Lawrence Durrell. Comme la plupart des gens, ma vie s'est élaborée tant bien que mal au gré des circonstances. Il n'y a pas de mystère spécial. Mon père était ingénieur des ponts et chaussées, il travaillait très dur, à construire des chemins de fer entre autres choses, et ses chantiers le fai­saient beaucoup voyager à l'intérieur de l'Inde. Il vivait souvent dans la jungle même, et des pays comme la Birmanie, le Népal, le Bhoutan et l'Assam lui ont laissé une forte impression. La moitié de ma famille n'avait jamais vu l'Angle­terre. Nous étions des «coloniaux» typi­ques de cette époque. Il était donc nécessaire de nous appliquer la couche rituelle de «guède» en nous expédiant dans des «public school» (collèges pri­vés anglais) ... Pour ma soeur, ce fut Malvern, pour mon frère, et pour moi, St.Edmunds, à Cantorbéry.Ce fut une opération coûteuse et qui n'a pas tenu toutes ses promesses, car nous étions des élèves médiocres et nous étions rapidement désenchantés du mode de vie anglais.

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Quantum Mechanics and the Shape of Fiction: "Non-Locality" in the Avignon Quincunx

Paul H. Lorenz

 

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Serious readers of Lawrence Durrell are well aware of the "Note" in the American edition of Balthazar in which Durrell announces his intention to shape The Alexandria Quartet according the principles of the Relativity proposition. He chooses Relativity, he tells us, because "modern literature offers us no Unities," and he is seeking a "morphological form one might appropriately call 'classical'—for our time," even if the result proves "to be 'science fiction' in the true sense" (5). The Avignon Quincunx,1 perhaps more so than the Quartet, can be read as true "science fiction." It is as much an experiment in applied Quantum Mechanics as the Alexandria Quartet was an experiment in applied Relativity Theory, for Durrell is one of many writers working on the assumption that the theory of the field is, in fact, the cultural religion of the twentieth century (Hayles 4¬6; Durrell, Interview). In the Quincunx, Durrell creates a world which is structured on the spatial/temporal principles of the Theory of Relativity and governed by the laws and logic of quantum mechanics.

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Gnosticism in Lawrence Durrell's Monsieur: New Textual Evidence for Source Materials

James Gifford & Stephen Osadetz

 

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1. While most critics are quick to turn to Lacarrière's The Gnostics to explain Lawrence Durrell's Gnosticism, especially as it pertains to his novel Monsieur, a number of facts should dissuade scholars from making either too quick or too close a connection between the two authors' individual understandings of Gnosticism, for fear that subtleties particular to Durrell's conception of the heresy might be overlooked. First of all, Durrell was cultivating an interest in Gnosticism well before he knew of either Lacarrière or his book; he began to study Gnostic texts in the early 1940s (Bowker 164), before he met Lacarrière in June of 1971 (MacNiven 587). Also, given Durrell's rather tepid "Foreword" to Lacarrière's book, which he describes as "more a work of literature than of scholarship" (7), and his criticism of the limitations of Lacarrière's earlier work (Durrell-Miller 447), it would be prudent to approach any direct correlation between Monsieur and The Gnostics with skepticism. Most importantly, the specific instances of Gnosticism that appear in Monsieur differ from Lacarrière's account in significant ways that cannot be adequately explained by referring to Durrell's usual playfulness with his sources.

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